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Accidents will happen – but how would you cope?

It’s a fact that most drivers will at some stage be involved in an accident. It might be your fault or someone else’s, or you might only be a witness to a collision, but whatever the circumstances it pays to know what you should do.

The first and most pressing thing is to determine whether anyone is hurt. If there is any possibility of injury then medical help must be sought immediately – let the professionals take over. But if we are talking injured pride and bent body panels only, then it is not necessary to involve the police so long as you follow the correct steps.

Firstly, you are obliged to stop at the scene of the accident and to provide your registration number and contact details to the other driver. If you don’t, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours or you run the risk of prosecution. If the other party demands your insurance details you are obliged to provide them – not necessarily at the scene of the crash but within a reasonable time. It will also be a condition of your policy that you report an accident to your insurance company, even if fault is admitted by the other party and you intend any claim to be handled by their insurers.

Take photographs and make notes at the scene: obvious things like time of day, location, weather and traffic conditions but also details of the other vehicle, its general condition and any damage. If there are witnesses, take their contact details.

If you drive a lot, it might be worthwhile investing in a ‘dashcam’. They are not expensive and – provided you remember to switch it on for every journey – could provide the proof you need to save your no-claims bonus.

The real hassle of an accident comes in its aftermath. Be aware that your friendly breakdown cover provider probably excludes accidents from its insurance. If your car is recovered from the roadside after a crash, there will be a bill to be paid. Also be aware that everyone at every stage of the process, from the recovery truck driver to the insurance companies involved, will sell on your contact details and you will be plagued for months by cold-calling ‘ambulance chasers’ suggesting that you might like to file a claim.

If the worst happens and your car is undrivable, it is reassuring to know that Adapted Vehicle Hire is ready and able to step in to help. AVH offers wheelchair accessible vehicles and adapted cars for hire for a day, a week or a month or longer – whatever you need to ensure that you can still go about your business.

A nationwide business able to meet the needs of hundreds of disabled drivers and wheelchair users and carers, AVH has a deep understanding that everyone’s requirements are different. This starts with an individual telephone consultation with each customer before they are allocated a vehicle and extends to a personal hand-over of the car to ensure not only that it is suitable but also that the customer is happy and equipped with an understanding of how everything works.

All AVH adapted vehicles are equipped with a left-foot accelerator and single-lever push-pull hand control as standard, with the option of further special adaptations available as required, and there is a range of wheelchair-accessible vehicles offering one and two wheelchair positions.

In addition to short-term hire, AVH also offers long term rentals as a flexible alternative to vehicle purchase or lease. With a minimum rental length of just 28 days, this service is ideal for drivers seeking an adapted or wheelchair accessible vehicle for extended periods but with more flexibility than a standard lease could hope to offer. After the 28 days is up, you can simply return the vehicle at any time.